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Like a killer scarf or a one-of-a-kind necklace, your nail color can be a key accessory. Whether you get your nails done at a beauty salon or use a drugstore nail polish, the secret to the ideal mani-pedi is great nail polish. Because there's really nothing like the feeling of freshly lacquered nails.

And since we live in the age of instant gratification, we expect a lot from our nail polish. For starters, nail color choice is of the utmost importance: The nail color has to speak to you, be in season and fit the event you're attending. Beyond that, the nail polish has to offer a good value (read: long-lasting and not too expensive) and look the same way on your nails as it does in the bottle. Plus, since we're always looking for ways to slice time off our beauty routines, we also want our nail polish to dry superfast. Finally, our nail polish must be chip-resistant.

Think our standards are too high? Or can one nail polish really do it all? Our readers tried and tested many a nail polish to weed out the not-so-great ones from the gems. Here, the 13 best nail polishes.

Image via Imaxtree

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Best Nail Polish No. 14: Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour, $28
TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 7.9*

Why it's great: When readers crack open their Chanel nail polish, they feel like they're getting the royal treatment. "It's like having a manicure at a professional's," says one TotalBeauty.com member. Even without a top coat, users say this polish stays "shiny" and "can last up to two weeks." They admit that the price is "steep" and you're "paying for the brand name," but also insist that "you're paying for a great quality polish," too.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour here.

*At time of publication

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Best Nail Polish No. 13: Jin Soon Nail Polish, $18

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8*

Why it's great: Known for its 9-free formula, Jin Soon nail polishes know how to impress. "The colors are really cool and different," said one reviewer, who also commented that the polish had a "shiny finish" and was "long-wearing." Another fan complimented the brand's chip-resistant formula, which is always a plus. 

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Jin Soon Nail Polish here.

*At time of publication

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Best Nail Polish No. 12:
TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 8.1*

Why it's great: For readers who don't care for the meticulous process of applying a base and top coat, this polish is "a lot less work" for a manicure that "lasts forever." The polish boasts "amazing color payoff" that "stays bright with high shine," according to users. Reviewers especially love the wide, flat brush that "only takes one stroke" to completely cover the nail. Some report long drying times (between 30 and 40 minutes), but still say they can do an at-home manicure "so much faster" with this all-in-one polish.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure here.

*At time of publication

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Best Nail Polish No. 11: Wet n Wild MegaLast Nail Color, $2.49
TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.1*

Why it's great: Readers are delighted that this budget-friendly polish outlasts products five times the price. "This stuff lasts longer than the most expensive polish I have — a full week with minimal chipping," a user writes.

Reviewers are also impressed by the pigment and user-friendly brush. "Color goes on smooth, is true to the color in the bottle and dries superquick," another reader writes.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Wet n Wild MegaLast Nail Color here.

*At time of publication

Buy now

Like a killer scarf or a one-of-a-kind necklace, your nail color can be a key accessory. Whether you get your nails done at a beauty salon or use a drugstore nail polish, the secret to the ideal mani-pedi is great nail polish. Because there's really nothing like the feeling of freshly lacquered nails.

And since we live in the age of instant gratification, we expect a lot from our nail polish. For starters, nail color choice is of the utmost importance: The nail color has to speak to you, be in season and fit the event you're attending. Beyond that, the nail polish has to offer a good value (read: long-lasting and not too expensive) and look the same way on your nails as it does in the bottle. Plus, since we're always looking for ways to slice time off our beauty routines, we also want our nail polish to dry superfast. Finally, our nail polish must be chip-resistant.

Think our standards are too high? Or can one nail polish really do it all? Our readers tried and tested many a nail polish to weed out the not-so-great ones from the gems. Here, the 13 best nail polishes.

Image via Imaxtree
BY AMANDA MONTELL, ROSIE NARASAKI | SHARES
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